Users gather in concern as full-body tracking captures every moment of one individuals intense ordeal.
Anyone unfortunate enough to have to deal regularly with episodes of paralyzing convulsions brought on by seizures knows how terrifying the process can be. Just witnessing one take place is a harrowing experience in itself. There isn’t all that much you can do besides provide comfort until it eventually passes.
A colorful cluster-fudge ripe with memes, anime girls and various 3D models of a deformed Knuckles, VRChat is by all means the last place you would expect anything remotely serious to happen. However last week, one VRChat server room briefly ceased its barrage of jokes and constant “clucking” after a fellow player suddenly collapsed to the virtual floor due to a “tonic-clonic” seizure.
Based on the video, users first identified the player was in distress after noticing the sporadic movements of his red-and-black robot avatar. While many avatars look strange in VR while a user is away from the headset, usually lying on the floor, this situation was unique in that it appeared as though the unknown user was utilizing some form of full-body capture.
This made the convulsive motions fairly clear, allowing the others to identify the situation pretty easily. Others occupying the server were also able to hear strange noises coming from the incapacitated player, further drawing concern to his condition. Unfortunately without the person’s address, name or contact information, there wasn’t much the onlookers could do besides gather around and do their best to provide comfort.
“There was nothing we could do,” the user who captured the moment, Rogue Shadow VR, says in his video. “We didn’t even know what part of the planet this person lived on, and all we could do was just observe.”
According to Rogue Shadow VR, the unidentified player has confirmed that he recovered from the incident and is doing fine. One of the most terrifying moments of a seizure is the short-term memory loss after finally coming out of an episode. I can only imagine the sheer amount of pure confusion this man or woman had after waking up to a group consisting of Uganda Knuckles, a harem of anime girls, Phil Margera and one adorably-concerned Morty.
On a serious note, it is heartening to see a group of users in a game notorious for its chaos, genuinely come together in support of a player they no nothing about, even if for a brief moment. It should also be noted that the uploader has been given explicit permission by the user to upload this video in the hopes of “spreading awareness of epilepsy which must be considered with the emergence of virtual reality on both the industry and individual users scale. This is also being shared for the purpose of analyzing and documenting the nature of this occurrence and the reactions of bystanders in Virtual Reality which is an unprecedented situation.”